27 July 2018

La Cathédrale de Jean Linard, Neuvy-deux-Clochers, Cher (18)

Jean Linard (1931–2010), who was born in La Marche near La Charité-sur-Loire and died in Bourges, was a ceramic artist, sculptor, painter, engraver and architect. In 1961 he and his future wife Anne Kjaersgaard (whom he later divorced) bought a former flint quarry in the hamlet of Les Poteries, Neuvy-deux-Clochers in Cher, where they set about constructing a house and workshops. In 1981 he added the 'Tour Rocard' to his constructions, using bricks from a former pottery oven belonging to the scientist Yves Rocard. He used different and (over some time) differing materials and styles, such as sandstone, raku, iron, mosaic, etc. A great cat lover, his Moustique was an inspiration, and he also praised other animals such as owls, cows and elephants. He essentially created his art from recycled objects. He began work on his Cathédrale (without a roof) in 1983, and about twenty-six of his final years were devoted to this construction. His influences range from the 'conventional' Picaso and Gaudí's Sagrada Família to the slightly more obscure Facteur Cheval's Palais Idéal and Raymond Isidore's Maison Picassiette. Among his mosaics are the names of the people he loved, including his children and grandchildren, and such figures as Gandhi, Mandela, plus religious icons such as Buddha and Mahomet. His 'Quelle connerie la guerre' ('What bullshit war is') is a line from one of Jacques Prévert's poems in Paroles. In 2012, Frédéric Mitterand, Ministre de la Culture, made the house and cathédrale a Monument Historique. Jean Linard had built his own grave above a path leading from the cathédrale, around which his ashes were scattered.


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